Some edited highlights from a BBC focus group of 19-39-year-olds:
*very clear understanding of what they wanted from Facebook (Twitter barely mentioned)
*sophisticated appreciation of the image they projected through FB… most used it for both personal and professional reasons
*used it on both their mobiles and their PCs, but to do different things. Mobile usage is about need; PCs about choice and pleasure
*all saw comment and discussion as a key component of enjoying news on FB
*very mixed view too on what kind of news should be posted by news organisations on FB (light vs serious). Most accepted that it was probably a good idea for media organisations to ‘put it all out there’ and let people pick and choose for themselves.
Having said that, nobody really believed what they read on Facebook, even if it had mainstream media branding all over it. If they wanted to know about a particular story, they would go directly to a mainstream media website either first, or via FB
How social networks can help save media (Jim Brady, True/Slant) October 25, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Social networks have created an under-exploited advantage for media companies, suggests Jim Brady:
"…news consumption has now become seamlessly blended into the daily lives of so many consumers. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to read the newspaper, you completely dedicated yourself to it at the breakfast table or dinner table or den for some fixed period of time. When you were done, you went off to work, paid bills or went shopping, and news wasn’t a part of the equation.[…]
Now, think about media consumption in the social media era. Today, content from media companies lives in the same stream as so much other information in a consumer’s life. […] Now, if you’re using e-mail, Facebook or Twitter — three pretty big chunks of time for most Web-savvy consumers — you can, at any moment, be pulled back into news and information. This is a massive opportunity, and one that requires news organizations become fuller participants in those venues."
When the lack of comments damages your news brand October 6, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Paul Bradshaw unpacks an example from the BBC news website, concluding:
"What the discussion around the BBC Education news piece highlights is the risk to a news brand in not publishing comments (as is the case – for now – on most BBC News reports. Indeed, I would add that not having bylines to all reports or contact emails makes the organisation look even more opaque.)
Of course having comments on the story would have allowed this discussion to take place in public, from the start, and provide readers of the article with some critical context, turning a single-source ‘He Said’ article into a ‘He Said-She Said’ piece at the very least. That’s a technical issue that is being addressed, but in the meantime the BBC brand suffers."
Cervical cancer vaccine, online news, Google and SEO October 2, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : Journalism, linking, science, SEO , add a comment
SEO expert Malcolm Coles kicked off an interesting experiment yesterday, to shift the emphasis in Google’s search results away from “negative and inaccurate information” (eg some news stories) linking a girl’s death to the cervical cancer vaccine and towards NHS pages about the vaccine.
More by Malcolm here about the tendency of some news stories to suggest (or make) a connection between the death and the vaccine.
He has been encouraging bloggers and others to publish web links, with relevant linked text, to influence Google’s search results, such as cervical cancer jab, cervical cancer vaccine, and cervical cancer vaccine Q&A.
So far, the NHS seems to have bought ‘sponsored links’ against some search key words, but I don’t see any of the NHS sites in the first page of Google’s search results for “cervical cancer jab”, which continues to be dominated by news stories.
Rescuing The Reporters « Clay Shirky October 2, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
It's the original, local news reporting that counts, says Clay Shirky, after a 'news biopsy' of his old hometown paper. Six news reporters unearthing valuable stories — with 53 other staff in the newsroom. [NB Shirky includes sport and columnists as 'other'.] His conclusion: around a dozen are critical for the good of the town — and so, if necessary, could be transferred to a non-profit employer.
Phone app lets news readers be extraordinarily helpful September 21, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Steve Outing on the Extraordinaries: "…a brilliant concept in empowering the crowd to do good things. Foremost, the idea is to allow people to use the little bits of spare time they have (riding the bus home, waiting at the DMV, waiting for the movie to start, etc.) to do small bits of volunteering using the Extraordinaries iPhone app. Examples include tagging photos for the Smithsonian or other museums. The San Diego Voice investigative news website is asking people to use the app to record location and photos of city agencies and buildings wasting water during the current drought period.
This app and model of micro-volunteering has potentially huge implications for journalism. Reporters and editors should be thinking about how Colker’s project can help them improve and expand their reporting and research projects. I hope you’ll listen to the interview."
How much will people pay for news? May 17, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
John Naughton: "…as providers disappear (or, like Murdoch, decide to charge), the supply of free news will diminish and something more like a normal market will emerge. Only then will we find out what people are willing to pay for news."delicious links , add a comment
If you want an example of the success of Twitter as a mechanism for distributing authoritative information about the Swine Flu, look at the rapid growth in the subscriber numbers for the @CDCemergency account. The @CDCemergency twitter account users have been able to get notifications about conference calls and direct communications from the federal agency tasked with monitoring and reacting to the crisis. The fact that the followers for @CDCemergency went form ~2,600 on Wednesday to ~28,000 should tell you that people are making a rational decision to pay attention to trusted sources.
Contrary to Morozov and Slattery, I believe that Twitter is one of the most essential weapons that government has to get timely information to the general population in this crisis. As with all human discourse be it written, spoken, or "texted", the medium has its imperfections.delicious links , add a comment
Gina Chen on the need for change in journalism:
Much of what gets done in newsrooms is reflexive — done almost without thinking: We do it because we’ve always done it. We do it because that’s what newspapers do. We do it because we don’t want to have to come up with our own ideas. We do it because we don’t want to get blamed if a higher-up complains that we didn’t do it. [...]
I challenge all journalists and bloggers — and I include myself in this — to ask Jarvis’ question — Am I adding value? – before doing anything on the job. In my experience, the hurried newsroom culture doesn’t encourage deep thinking. In my 20 years in a variety of newsrooms, I’ve found decisions on what to cover or how to cover it are often rooted in journalistic routines, which is a fancy way of saying “that’s how we always do it.”
Building a local news mashup with Twitter, TwitterFeed, Delicious, Yahoo! Pipes, Ruby and RSS at Adrian Short March 20, 2009Posted by Jonathan Hewett in : delicious links , add a comment
Is this the future of hyperlocal news online? At least as a DIY aggregation from some key sources/searches? A clear outline of how Adrian Short does it for the site he runs, complete with PDF diagram:
“I’m a self-confessed and unashamed news junkie and this is how I’m starting to mash up news in my local area. For those that aren’t local, Sutton is a London borough with a population of approximately 180,000. Stonecot Hill is a neighbourhood within Sutton with a population of a few thousand.”